We remember the late Paul Reubens by going behind the scenes of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, directed by a young Tim Burton.
When it comes to the most successful directorial debuts of the 1980s, it’s hard not to think of Tim Burton and Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. While the zany cult-comedy bares Burton’s stylistic stamp, the brilliant conceit is really the brainchild of the late great Paul Reubens, a truly original comedian who recently passed away at the age of 70 following a secret six-year bout with cancer. For many who grew up in the 80s, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure remains a childhood touchstone and nostalgic celebration of the power of possibilities. After all, in addition to the story of a rebellious underdog triumphing in the end, the movie was written by a trio of comedians with zero experience and directed by a first-time filmmaker with a lot to prove and even more to lose. And yet, when it was released in the summer of 1985, the film became a massive commercial success at the box office and became so popular among the home video crowd that it spawned two feature film sequels and a spin-off TV show.
Most importantly, the film launched Tim Burton’s professional filmmaking career and for better or worse, forever linked Reubens with his Pee-wee Herman persona. Perhaps a blessing and a curse, it’s time to honor Reubens’ lasting legacy with respect and adoration when we get to the bottom of Francis’ swimming pool and figure out WTF Happened to Pee-wee’s Big Adventure!
The film has the following synopsis: Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens), an eccentric child-like man, loves his red bicycle and will not sell it to his envious neighbor, Francis (Mark Holton). While Pee-wee visits his friend Dottie (Elizabeth Daily), the bike is stolen. Thinking his bike is at the Alamo, Pee-wee sets off on a trip, where he meets many remarkable people, including waitress Simone (Diane Salinger) and a motorcycle gang. Eventually, Pee-wee discovers that his bike is being used in a movie and tries to recover it.
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/wtf-happened-to-pee-wees-big-adventure/